NFL divisional playoffs predictions: Which teams will advance to AFC, NFC championship games?

Here are our NFL Nation reporters' predictions for this weekend’s divisional round:


Kansas City Chiefs: I’ve vacillated several times when it comes to picking a winner. It’s deadline time and my current mood is to go with the team that has won 11 consecutive games. The Chiefs had their way against the Patriots on both offense and defense in last year’s 41-14 victory. The outcome will be in doubt until the end this time, but the result will be the same as it was in 2014. Chiefs 23, Patriots 20. -- Adam Teicher

New England Patriots: The Patriots have lost four of their past six games, tight end Rob Gronkowski’s right knee is suddenly an issue again and the Chiefs have won their past 11 games. This has the potential to be an upset, similar to the 2010 divisional round, when the Jets came in to Gillette Stadium and pulled off the shocker. But I’m not picking it, in part because the Patriots generally prove me wrong when I have in the past. If we don’t study history, it’s bound to repeat itself. Patriots 20, Chiefs 17. -- Mike Reiss


Green Bay Packers: There’s precedent for a team that got blown out in the regular season to come back and win the playoff rematch. In 2010, the Jets lost to the Patriots 45-3 in Week 13 but came back to beat New England in the divisional round 28-21. It doesn’t mean that the Packers will avenge their 38-8 loss to the Cardinals in Week 16, but it goes to show how quickly things can change in the NFL. Chances are this game will be more competitive than the regular-season meeting. Cardinals 27, Packers 23. -- Rob Demovsky

Arizona Cardinals: The Packers, and especially quarterback Aaron Rodgers, picked up some momentum in the NFC wild-card win over Washington, but it won’t be enough to topple the Cardinals. Arizona is healthy, and that might be the most important factor Saturday. Coach Bruce Arians is looking to prove he can win a Super Bowl as a head coach, and Carson Palmer is seeking that elusive first playoff win. Cardinals 35, Packers 21. -- Josh Weinfuss


Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks’ defense has allowed just one touchdown in their past six road games. They are remarkably healthy -- all 11 regular starters will be in uniform -- and played well down the stretch. Offensively, the Seahawks could have trouble running the ball and protecting Russell Wilson. These two teams always play close games, but Pete Carroll’s group finds a way and moves on to the NFC title game. Seahawks 21, Panthers 20. -- Sheil Kapadia

Carolina Panthers: I’m going to side with Carolina safety Roman Harper on this one when he said the Panthers “are the better team." They proved that with a 15-1 regular-season record that included a 27-23 victory at Seattle in October. That came in large part because the Seahawks couldn’t cover tight end Greg Olsen, who had seven catches for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Olsen will be a big factor again. That this one is in Charlotte, where Carolina has won 11 straight, will be a bigger factor. Panthers 23, Seahawks 17. -- David Newton


Pittsburgh Steelers: I had planned to pick the Broncos all week. Ben Roethlisberger, hurt. DeAngelo Williams, hurt. Antonio Brown, out. But being counted out seems to galvanize this group. I still have a feeling Roethlisberger will play Sunday. Peyton Manning has been out of rhythm all year. The Steelers are one of the best at stopping the run, which is a huge advantage because Denver wants to win with the run. The Steelers' offensive line is better than you’d think. If the Broncos play deep, Pittsburgh will gladly run the ball, and run it well. The current playoff setup screams New England and Pittsburgh in the AFC championship. Steelers 30, Broncos 27. -- Jeremy Fowler

Denver Broncos: When trying to decide how things will go in a postseason game, many coaches around the league say start at quarterback and then see who has the healthiest roster at that point in the season around him. By that gauge, having earned a playoff bye, the Broncos are a healthier team than the Steelers, especially with three major contributors in the Steelers’ offense -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back DeAngelo Williams -- all with injury questions. So it really comes down to focus, attitude and playing great in big moments. The Broncos certainly didn’t do that last January at home in the divisional-round loss to the Indianapolis Colts. It will be clear in this one whether or not the Broncos have really learned their lesson. Broncos 24, Steelers 16. -- Jeff Legwold